Making NGOs AccountableAdvanced Search





  • The Danish government funds numerous Israeli and Palestinian NGOs through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy in Tel Aviv, the Representative Office in Ramallah, the Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (the “Secretariat”– joint funding with Sweden, Switzerland, and Netherlands), and indirectly by outsourcing to Danish aid organizations such as DanChurchAid.
  • Organizations receiving Danish funding lead campaigns and political activities that are inconsistent with government policies to promote peace and a two-state framework for the Arab-Israeli conflict. Many NGOs are centrally involved in BDS and lawfare campaigns and seek to demonize and delegitimize the State of Israel.
  • Most Danish funding for Israeli and Palestinian NGOs is awarded through the Secretariat. Recipients include: Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Miftah, Bimkom, and Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI). (See below.)

Direct funding:

  • Danish foreign aid is distributed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Danish International Development Agency (Danida). Danida’s website offers a project and program database on Danida support to NGOs.
  • In 2013 and 2014, the Danish government allotted $3,168,395 and $15,141,994 respectively towards projects through NGOs in Gaza and the West Bank.
  • The Danish Embassy in Tel Aviv provides support for projects run by Bimkom and the Peres Center for Peace.
    • Bimkom received funding to conduct “a planning survey for Palestinian neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem.”
    • The Peres Center for Peace runs “MediLink- education of Palestinian doctors in Israel,” which “helps Palestinian doctors and other health professionals in receiving special educations at Israeli hospitals. This cooperation strengthens the relationship among civil societies in Israel and the Palestinian self-rule areas. Around 20 Palestinians doctors and health professionals are educated each year.”
  • Although the Danida funding database does not list PCHR as a recipient, PCHR includes the Royal Danish Representative Office as one of its funders in its 2012 Annual Report.
    • PCHR has tried to have cases brought against Israeli officials in England, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, and New Zealand. The group has filed for punitive damages in the U.S. against companies doing business with Israel. In 2010, PCHR published “The Principle and Practice of Universal Jurisdiction: PCHR’s Work in the occupied Palestinian territory,” advancing allegations of Israel’s “violations of international humanitarian law,” “war crimes,” and “culture of pervasive impunity.” PCHR’s campaign has also focused on pursuing charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court, including meetings with ICC officials in Hague to “explore different avenues to bring justice to the victims of serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.
  • The Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) received $903,862 in 2014. ICHR is a quasi-governmental Palestinian organization, established in 1993 with a declared mandate “to follow-up and ensure that different Palestinian laws, by-laws and regulations, and the work of various departments, agencies and institutions of the State of Palestine and the Palestine Liberation Organization meet the requirements for safeguarding human rights.” ICHR refers to explosions in Hamas military training camps and deaths in tunnels between Gaza and Egypt as human rights violations against Palestinians.

Human Rights and Humanitarian Law International Secretariat

  • Together with Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, Denmark funds Israeli and Palestinian NGOs through The Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (the “Secretariat”). This funding mechanism has a projected budget of $17.6 million over four years, including $13 million for NGOs. Denmark gave $2.6 million to the Secretariat in 2013 and 2014.
  • The funds are managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) and a European multidisciplinary consulting company, NIRAS.
    • In February 2014, IoL-BZU published a 15-page report, “Advocating for Palestinian Rights in conformity with International Law: Guidelines” (English and Arabic). This document is a strategic manual for exploiting legal terms and rhetoric to demonize and isolate Israel internationally (“lawfare”), as well as to emphasize that Israel regardless of its borders is among “racist regimes which are absolutely prohibited in their entirety.” This report was posted prominently on the Human Rights Secretariat Facebook page.
  • Through the Secretariat, Danish funds are redirected to several politicized NGOs, such as Badil, which  promotes “resistance” and “martyr” rhetoric, and promotes anti-peace initiatives and a “one-state” framework. The organization also promotes the Palestinian “right of return” and leads international BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigns, by also engaging in blatant antisemitic activities. In 2010, Badil signed a document explicitly rejecting the Roadmap for Peace and the Arab Peace Initiative, in sharp contradiction to the goals and policies of its government sponsors. Badil also sponsors annual “right of return contests” in which it has published antisemitic cartoons on its website, as well as imagery denying Israel’s right to exist. After the antisemitic cartoons were revealed by NGO Monitor in 2010, the Swiss government announced a funding freeze for this NGO; it appears that funding has been renewed, but without any public review or explanation as to whether safeguards were put in place to prevent recurrences.
  • In August 2014, The Secretariat announced “emergency funding” to nine Israeli and Palestinian NGOs to “document the violations by all parties of human rights and international humanitarian law arising from the armed conflict.” Switzerland donated CHF 100,000 to this fund. All nine of these NGOs (Al-Dameer, B’Tselem, Badil, Breaking the Silence, DCI-Palestine, Al Mezan, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Women’s Affairs Center, Women’s Affairs Technical Committee) have extensively accused Israel of unsubstantiated “war crimes,” while disregarding clear Hamas human rights violations. In addition, some of these NGOs played a pivotal role in providing dubious and inaccurate statements to the discredited 2009 UN Goldstone.
  • In September 2014, the Secretariat approved project funding for the period of September 2014 to August 2015. Over $1.2 million was authorized for 20 NGOs, many of which use offensive and highly inflammatory rhetoric, accusing Israel of “de-Palestinization,” “apartheid,” “colonization,” “collective punishment,” “forced displacement,” violations of “cultural and religious rights,” “repression,” “restricting movement,” “water theft,” and a “ghettoization project,” as well as support BDS campaigns and agendas. Funding was directed also to the “Stop the Wall Campaign,” a leader of international BDS against Israel, for an overtly political project “To contribute to a situation of accountability and respect for human rights by all duty bearers by creating   mechanisms to implement the ICJ decision related to the separation Wall.”


  • According to the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DanWatch, a Danish “independent media and research centre,” received a grant of 5 million krone (€671,000) in 2013 for a project to “Strengthen a watchdog who shares his knowledge and creates balanced debate.”
  • DanWatch also received a 70,000 krone (€9,000) grant from the Danish Ministry of Culture’s lottery funds.
  • While DanWatch describes itself as “a watchdog,” according to its own financial reports, DanWatch offers limited financial transparency and does not release detailed information regarding its own funding sources.
  • Using Danish taxpayer money, DanWatch has targeted Israeli and European corporations Ahava, G4S, and ISS, Israeli agricultural products, and tour operators.
  • DanWatch bases its research on unreliable, biased, and radical NGOs (as documented in detail by NGO Monitor), including Who Profits, ICAHD, and Al-Haq.

Indirect funding through DanChurchAid:

  • DanChurchAid (DCA) is a large-scale recipient of Danish government funding; in 2013, DCA received 213.2 million kr from the Danish government, which it uses, in part, to fund highly politicized Israeli and Palestinian NGOs.
  • The organization claims to work for “peace and reconciliation” with “progressive forces within Israeli and Palestinian civil societies to reinforce democracy and respect for human rights, and to support efforts for sustainable peace and justice.”
  • DCA partners with radical political advocacy NGOs such as Badil and PCHR.
    • In 2012 and 2013, DanChurchAid partnered with Badil, as well as B’Tselem and YMCA, on an EU-funded project dealing with water sanitation in Area C. According to DCA, the project included “advocacy campaign and conference on forced population transfer.”
    • In 2007, DCA joined with Badil to implement a “Call to Action,” which included anti-Israel boycott and sanction campaigns; efforts to “[e]nlist journalists to organize a targeted campaign to expose the lies of AIPAC and the Anti-Defamation League and to expose the Jewish and Zionist community\’s double standards regarding Nakba & Occupation”; and enlisting the help of anti-Israel “Jewish” NGOs to “rais[e] awareness of the . . . right of return among the Jewish public in Israel.”
  • As part of a  “Gaza Emergency Response” campaign, DanChurchAid described the 2014 Gaza war as “the Israeli military’s ‘Operation Protective Edge’,” placing the blame for the conflict solely on Israel and ignoring the fact that the military operation was launched in response to Hamas’ indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli civilians.
  • DCA funding for NGOs lacks transparency. The organization lists its Palestinian partner organizations, but does not provide funding details.

(Information from DCA website and Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits)

B'TselemNIS 87,854 (2013)
NIS 366,508 (2013)
NIS 891,859 (2013)
NIS 6,132 (2013)
NIS 294,340 (2013)
BadilNot Disclosed
Applied Research Institute JerusalemNot Disclosed
Palestinian Center for Human RightsNot Disclosed
Sheikh Jarrah SolidarityNot Disclosed
Grassroots JerusalemNot Disclosed
Women's Affairs CenterNot Disclosed
APRODEVNot Disclosed

All Articles about Denmark

Further Reading